Chiefs make changes for Highlanders in Hamilton

The Chiefs have named their team to play the Highlanders in Hamilton this weekend with Michael Fitzgerald replacing Brodie Retallick.

World Player of the Year Retallick suffered a grade 3 AC joint injury playing against the Crusaders last week and is expected to be out of action for 4-6 weeks.

Michael Fitzgerald starts at lock replacing Retallick and Johan Bardoul starts in the loose forwards with Liam Messam bracketed with Maama Vaipulu at No 8, while Messam awaits concussion clearance.

Super Rugby centurion Hosea Gear comes back into the side on the right wing.

Michael Allardice and Japanese captain Michael Leitch will get the chance to make their Super Rugby debuts off the bench. Andrew Horrell will also get his first match of the season.

“We appreciated the fantastic support we had from our home crowd last weekend,” said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie

“It was a big game and the boys recovered well, so we are really happy with the squad we are able to put on the park.

“The Highlanders have a smart coaching group and we know they will come with a plan to challenge us all over the field.”

In other Chiefs injury news, Mitch Crosswell has been bought in to replace Tevita Koloamatangi who requires surgery on his ankle injury that occurred during the Brumbies match in Taranaki.

This weekend’s match is the Chiefs last match at home before they head off to South Africa for a few weeks.

Chiefs

1. Pauliasi Manu , 2. Hika Elliot , 3. Ben Tameifuna , 4. Matt Symons , 5. Michael Fitzgerald , 6. Johan Bardoul , 7. Sam Cane , 8. Liam Messam © /Maama Vaipulu , 9. Augustine Pulu , 10. Aaron Cruden , 11. James Lowe , 12. Sonny Bill Williams , 13. Charlie Ngatai , 14. Hosea Gear , 15. Tom Marshall

Replacements : 16. Quentin MacDonald , 17. Siate Tokolahi , 18. Mitchell Graham , 19. Michael Allardice** , 20. Michael Leitch**/Maama Vaipulu , 21. Brad Weber , 22. Damian McKenzie , 23. Andrew Horrell

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